“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” (Psalm 17:8)
David’s enemies were surrounding him literally and figuratively, seeking to rob him of his peace and his very life. He was desperate for God’s protection and deliverance from hostile circumstances. We too live in a world where danger surrounds us outwardly in the form of pandemics, riots, and persecution. In addition, there are also the inward dangers of worry, greed, and busyness that rob us of peace and fill us with fear. In desperate times, surrounded by chaos and hostility, we naturally seek a refuge of safety and protection. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”(Psalm 46:1). To seek refuge in God is to trust in, confide in and hope in Him alone.
How do we practically seek refuge in God? Entering a place of refuge, David asks God to show the wonders of his great love. To seek refuge, we must pray trusting in God’s boundless love –the same love that sent his Son to earth to die on a cross and to be raised from the dead so that those who believe might have eternal life spent in relationship with God the Father. A God who loves like this can be trusted to be our safe place of refuge.
First, pray like David, for God to keep you as the apple of His eye. Ask God to keep you in the center of his vision, to watch over you. He who never sleeps has his eyes wide open and aware of your every thought and move. There is nowhere you can flee from his watch and care over you. Since his eyes are ever on you, you can confide in him, sharing your deepest fears and needs.
Secondly, ask God to hide you under the shadow of his wings. This imagery of a bird wrapping its wings snuggly around its young to keep it close and protected speaks of the security found in an intimate relationship with God. Hope is found when we seek the cool shade beneath his wings. There we experience his wonderful love, his ever-watchful eye, and his protective presence.
David’s hope was found as the apple of God’s eye and in the shadow of God’s wings. We have an even greater hope knowing the mystery of what it means to be hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3): Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27) – to be with him eternally living in his presence – without sorrow or pain but only joy in his presence!
When I feel life is overwhelming, my husband slips his arm snuggly around my shoulders just as a bird wraps its wings around its young. Even more so, for those who hope in Christ alone for our salvation, he is our perfect and eternal refuge, the One whose arms we can run to and be safe from the hostility of this world.
May you find refuge in the shadow of his wings, Nancy Taylor